I recently finished a course organized by Harvard Business School on “Negotiations and Deal Making” at Mumbai. Some wonderful insights that came up during the discussions are :-
1. If your Best Alternative To a Negotiated Agreement (BATNA) is weak and you have less ground to maneuver do not give up.
2. It is a possibility that the other side has the same problem ( weak BATNA) If not, then mapping & analysis of the other sides alternatives can help you in deciding your course of action.
3. Romania after WW- I ( 1919) walked away with nearly double the size of its territory as part of war repatriation though it had the weakest BATNA but their delegation took a position that they were the best bet against the Bolsheviks who were rising in Russia.
4. At times, instead of concentrating on your respective positions think about interests. A common interest can be found, instead of who is having more power.
5. Try to bring more value to the table in a negotiation/ settlement/ deal by being more creative & imaginative, every deal need not be who wins vs who loses but a win win for both the parties.
Negotiations & Deals are highly complex structured processes but it is not always a boxing match. Empathy will make you a better negotiator.